Invite songbirds to your winter garden – Daily Tribune

A lot of birds come in search of food in winter. Lend a hand by starting, continuing or expanding your bird feeding efforts.

If you can’t plant a shepherd’s cane in the ground to hang your feeders, look for other options. Sturdy tree branches, hooks and supports used for summer hanging baskets, and deck railings are , are some possibilities.

When the holidays are over, recycle your Christmas tree into a bird shelter and feeder. Move it outdoors and decorate with orange slices, cranberry strands, and other songbird treats.

Place bird feeders no more than 3 feet and no more than 30 feet from your home to reduce the risk of fatal window crashes. You can further reduce the risk by hanging streamers in front of your windows or putting decals on them.

Choose a site with nearby trees and shrubs that allow songbirds to quickly escape predators. Avoid slow-growing shrubs that harbor feral cats, which kill over a billion songbirds each year.

Avoid excessively windy, damp or exposed areas. Provide a little more shelter from the elements by pinning evergreen branches above the feeder.

Add water sources to support and attract different birds. In colder regions, a bubbler, heater, or aerator is required to prevent water from freezing. As always, it’s important to keep your birdbath clean.

Buy a quality bird seed mix. These may be more expensive, but they have a higher percentage of seeds that birds like to eat. Many cheaper brands pack milo, oats, and wheat into their mixes, and birds tend to discard them, giving preference to the more desirable seeds in the mix.

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